Archive for 'Japanese'

DTLA Gets 3 New Noodle Spots, One More on the Way

Daikokuya just celebrated its 11th anniversary last week with $5 ramen, a deal that made those of us who already hate the lines at Downtown’s most popular ramen joint shudder.  I’m as cheap as the next guy, but even on a normal day, the waits at Daikokuya have me questioning how much my time is really worth.  Luckily it’s not the only noodle game in DTLA these days, and more and more places seem to be popping up every day.  Here are 3 of the newest:

Men Oh Tokushima

DSC00038This Tokyo ramen chain opened its first L.A. location back in October in the same strip mall as Aloha Cafe and Sushi-Gen.  Fans of the super porky broth at Daikokuya might not consider it a suitable replacement, but pure ramen fans looking for something new and different will find a lot to like about this place.  Their signature ramen is a combination tonkotsu/shoyu broth, giving the soup an interesting flavor that you’re not likely to find at any other ramenya in L.A.  Toss in some thinly sliced, stir fired pork belly alongside the more typical chashu pork and you’ve got a bowl of ramen worth going a little bit out of your way for.  456 E 2nd St. 213-687-8485

Read more »

Hannosuke Now Offers Chicken and Crispier Tempura

It was inevitable. Because even in the most Japanese of Japanese food courts, man cannot live on seafood and vegetables alone. In L.A., there has to be chicken. Because even though Hannosuke, the tempura specialist in West L.A.’s Mitsuwa Market, added a vegetable tempura bowl earlier in the year you knew the menu wasn’t going to be complete until chicken made an appearance. And sure enough there it was on my visit yesterday: chicken tempura. But the joke’s on you Los Angeles chicken lovers! Check out the big surprise after the jump…

Read more »

Hannosuke Expands Their Tempura Menu for Vegetarians and Shrimp Lovers


If you are a fan of ten-don but haven’t been to Hannosuke, the new tempura specialist in the Mar Vista Mitsuwa, what the hell is wrong with you!?  Seriously.  You need to go ASAP.  And if your excuse was “I don’t really like eel or fish” or “I’m a vegetarian”, that’s not going to hold water anymore either because Hannosuke has added two more ten-don bowls to their menu.  One replaces the fish with extra shrimp for $8.95, and one is all vegetables.

Check out the new vegetarian bowl after the jump…

Read more »

Hannosuke Puts All Other Mitsuwa Tempura to Shame


It has been my long held position, and the position of Midtown Lunch, that dipping something in batter and deep frying it will always improve the original item (hot dogs I’m looking at you.)  Sure, even I will draw the line at candy bars and sticks of butter- after all, I’m not a Republican.  But even the most progressive of crunchy, granola bar eating vegetarian liberals will have to admit that treating vegetables to a spa-like batter treatment, followed by a hot oil bath, is the most humane death you could give to something that grows out of the ground.

So, naturally, when Grub Street announced yesterday that Tokyo tempura specialist Hannousuke was now open in the Mitsuwa Marketplace I became as excited as a… well… a fat guy who likes things that are battered and deep fried.

Read more »

Tatsu’s Naked Ramen Might be the Lunch Dish of the Summer


When I heard about Tatsu Ramen opening on Sawtelle, three things immediately came to mind:

  1. Ordering on iPads is a stupid gimmick…
  2. … there’s no way this place is going to be good.
  3. What the hell is “naked ramen” and why the hell would I want to eat it?

What I learned after actually eating at Tatsu?

  1. Ordering ramen on iPads attached to the wall is kind of fun!
  2. This place is no freakin’ joke.
  3. And naked ramen is my new favorite bowl of noodles for the summer

Check it out after the jump…

Read more »

Robata-Ya’s Off the Menu Bento Substitution is a Big Time Winner


I’ve been spending way too much time in Little Osaka these days. I can’t help it. The tsukemen from Tsujita is enough to make me consider a trip to Sawtelle at least once a week, but once you throw in all the new lunch options that seem to be popping up one after another, the pull is just too much for me to resist. Gottsui just started serving a surprisingly tasty lunchtime ramen, a new Korean soondubu place just opened in the same strip mall, and apparently another ramen place is on the way!  There’s also the newly converted Spaghetti by Orris (although word is that place is up for sale) and if you haven’t tried the ketchup leather topped burger at Plan Check, I’d highly recommend it.  And of course there’s Miyata Menji, which opens today- although I’m going to give them a little time to get settled in.  (Plus, word is the famous-in-Japan comedian who owns the place is supposed to be there today, and I don’t want none of that.)


And yet in the midst of all this craziness, last week I found myself sidling up to the counter at Robata Ya- a 4 year old yakitori place that is solid if uninspiring.  The reason?  My buddy Dylan had told me that they do a bento box with salad, soup, rice, tempura (including one piece of shrimp!), gyoza, half a spicy tuna roll, and 3 pieces of yakitori.  All that food for just $10?!  How could I not.

Read more »

Okonomiyaki Specialist Gottsui Now Open For Lunch, Serving Only Ramen


Just when you thought it couldn’t get any crazier on Sawtelle, I stumbled upon this last week: Gottsui, the previously dinnertime only Tokyo okonomiyaki chain, is now open for lunch!  But before Japanese egg pancake fanatics get too excited over this new West L.A. lunch option, you should know they’re not serving okonomiyaki.  They’re serving ramen.  (I warned you it was about to get crazy.)  With the lines at Tsujita getting longer and longer by the day, you can see how a place on Sawtelle with no lunch business would be tempted to do lunchtime only ramen.  But with Ramen Jinya opening soon, Gr/eats becoming a tsukemen spot, and no standout lunchtime okonomiyaki to speak of in the area, the decision seems questionable at best.

What could they possibly do to make their ramen stand out on this soon to be ramen packed street?  Bring on the beef!

Read more »